Running and back pain: prevention and cures
It is possible to be fit and active but suffer from back pain, and you need not let it stop you. As a runner, there are a number of reasons why you may start suffering from back pain. It could be, for instance, a result of having a sedentary job which causes you to sit hunched at a desk all day. In fact, research has shown that it is actually more likely for this to be the cause of back pain in athletes than anything else. You may, however, need to rethink your warm up routine or post-workout stretches in order to effectively prevent injury. If you are suffering from back pain and are worried that it might impact on your running, there are some things that we at Launchfit™ by Clinicube® recommend to loosen you up.
1. Build up core strength
Core strength is particularly important for runners. Your core includes your abdominals, pelvis, hips and lower back, and by building strength in these areas, you will be able to maintain a strong and steady form when running long distance. This protects your lower back from any potential damage. In fact, core strengthening can help to prevent all sorts of injuries.
2. Visit a running lab
If you get the opportunity, visiting a running lab is a really useful way to ensure you have the right footwear to match your running gait. Your running shoes will then be the most effective in absorbing shock in the right places and supporting your foot where it is needed most.
3. Warm up properly before your run
The most effective pre-run warmups involve hip exercises which maximize your hip mobility. You should be focusing on your hamstrings, quads, knees and ankles – all of the areas that will be taking the most of the impact. If you already suffer from lower back pain and find that running worsens your condition, you may want to put some extra time into your warm up and look at your hamstrings and hips in particular.
Also make sure you include dynamic stretches rather than static ones, as dynamic stretches gradually warm up and stretch the muscles. Doing static stretches on cold muscles can do more damage. Don’t forget to warm up your back and torso with gentle torso twists, keeping your core engaged.
4. Don’t skip the cool down
It can be tempting to jump straight into the shower after a long run, but you should never skip your cool down and stretches. At this point, your muscles are as warm as they can be, so static stretches are fine. Focus again on hamstrings, quads, calves and hips, and add in some stretches for your core and lower back, such as the ‘shell pose.’
If you feel that your back pain could require further attention, then a Chiropractor can help. Based in New York, we are experts in bio-mechanics and will be able to advise you on how best to deal with your back pain to get you up and running once again.